Our city is in the midst of a budget crisis, Im not pissing and moaning about it, its a fact. One that I as a person or a police officer have no control over.
I have been through a handfull of budget years in the time that I have been on and it usually goes something like this:
- Mayor and council posture, make their demands, beat their chests and state their is no room for compromise.At this point all contract negotiations are completely halted. (My police department is going on a 3rd year without a contract in place)
- There is talk of layoffs, cuts, late or no paychecks, a freeze on our longevity payment and uniform allowances, due to the fact that a budget has not been passed.
- A long time goes by with several emergency budgets passed.
- Eventually a budget is passed,contract negotiations re-engage, retro checks are issued for the time spent working without a current contract, and life goes back to normal
I have my thoughts on the matter both as a police officer and a homeowner but I will keep my views on those issues to myself at this time but for all intents and purposes I think certain members of the city council are being short sided, narrow minded, and above all vindictive towards both the administration and the police department.
Due to all the added stress, the possible layoffs, the feeling that we (the cops and the firefighters) are all pawns in a personal political chess match, the innapreciation for any and all work we do tensions have been running high.
Last night they almost boiled over between us cops and the fire department. We had 2 suspicious car fire incidents, both happened on used car lots, one was in a locked yard where 3 cars were ablaze and one junk yard dog running free inside the yard. A police officer informed the fire guys about the dog and we set about through radio communications with dispatch to track down the owner of the yard. We watched as the fire guys set up outside the locked gate and hosed down the fire from 30 yards away, just under a beware of the dog sign (I was wishing I had m camera handy because it would have been a very funny blogworthy photo)
At one point we saw the dog trot right up to the blaze, we heard a loud explosion and didn’t see the dog no more, we then made a decision to cut the lock on the gate and escort the fire guys inside the yard. At which point if the dog was still alive and attacked, we would have done whatever was necessary to keep the firemen safe while doing their job. When we got inside we realized that the dog trotted right by the fire and hunkered down in his kennel, we then shut the door of his kennel and the fire was knocked down by the great work of the fire department.
The fire captain on scene, kept badgering us about locating the owner(hey they have dispatchers too that can look up the same info)
After he had been told 5 times that we were working on it.We (all the cops he was treating like dirt) began to get really heated.
He then snapped at us that his guys needed to get inside and we needed to step up our efforts and keep him informed of our progress.
When he came back the 6th time to ask about the progress and I observed my Sgt. walking towards the scene with the owner of the yard I took great delight in informing him (utilizing his own condescending tone back on him) that the owner was now present and accounted for on scene.
A lot of the cops were really getting pissed off at this fire captains antics, but to their credit we all acted in a professional manner. I also do want to give the rank and file firefighters a lot of credit as well (several of them are my lifelong friends who I grew up with and they are great guys and were not anywheres near as pushy as the captain) One of the firemen got me good while we were on scene, as he walked by me he grabbed my leg roughly and started barking. I nearly screamed like a schoolgirl. Another came up to me as we were all leaving, patted me on the back and thanked me for the escort. Fuck the city council and pushy brass.
We (all the rank and file cops and firemen) worked together well and the city was provided the best efforts we had.